University of San Diego School of Law

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University of San Diego School of Law
Warren Hall, USD.JPG
Warren Hall
Parent schoolUniversity of San Diego
School typePrivate
DeanStephen Ferruolo
LocationSan Diego, California, US
Enrollment1,007 (Full- and part-time)[1]
Faculty94 (Full- and part-time)[1]
USNWR ranking86[1]
Bar pass rate76% (ABA profile)
ABA profileUSD School of Law

The University of San Diego School of Law, commonly referred to as USD Law, is a law school located on the 182-acre (0.74 km2) campus of the University of San Diego in San Diego, California in the community of Linda Vista. Founded in 1954, the law school has held ABA approval since 1961.[2] It joined the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 1966.[3]


USD Law offers Juris Doctor (J.D.) degrees in either a three-year full-time or a four-year part-time program. Advanced law degree programs offered include Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees in Taxation, International Law, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property Law, Business and Corporate Law, Environmental and Energy Law, Employment and Labor law, and in Comparative Law for graduates of international law schools. Concurrent degree programs are offered to achieve a J.D. degree with either a Masters in Business Administration, International Master of Business Administration, or Master of Arts in International Relations.

Academic quality[edit]

USD Law placed 71st among the nation's "Top 100" law schools in the 2016 U.S. News and World Report rankings.[1] In April 2010, USD was ranked 6th in the nation in tax law and first in the Western United States among law schools with graduate tax programs.[citation needed] In January 2011, USD Law was given a "B+" in the "Best Public Interest Law Schools" listing by The National Jurist: The Magazine for Law Students.[4]

The school is a member of the Order of the Coif, a national law school honorary society.[5]


The dean of the law school is Stephen Ferruolo.[6] Prior to his tenure as dean, Ferruolo was a partner at the San Diego branch of Goodwin Procter, where his practice focused on business law.[7] Prior to beginning his legal career, Ferruolo was a history professor at Stanford University.[7]


In a 2003–2004 survey based exclusively on academic criteria, Brian Leiter of the University of Chicago Law School ranked USD Law 22nd in the nation for faculty scholarly reputation.[8] Leiter rated USD Law as "Also Strong" in Criminal Law & Procedure, Jurisprudence/Legal Philosophy, Law & Religion, and Legal Ethics.[9]

Six faculty members are members of the American Law Institute, a legal research organization.[10]

Notable guest professors[edit]

On numerous occasions, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia judged the final round of intramural moot court competitions on campus prior to his death in 2016. Along with this, he was a guest lecturer of Constitutional Law classes as well as classes on Oral Advocacy.

Media appearances[edit]

Faculty member Junichi P. Semitsu appeared on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire[11] and faculty member Frank Partnoy appeared on an episode of The Daily Show discussing his book The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, The Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals.[12]


In 2007, the 75th percentile of Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scores was 164 and the 25th percentile of LSAT scores was 161 for admitted full-time students.[13]

Bar passage rates[edit]

71% of USD Law graduates who took the California Bar in July 2018 for the first time, passed, compared to 54.1% for all first time applicants who completed the July 2018 California Bar Examination.[14]

Based on a 2001–2007 6 year average, 76.3% of USD Law graduates passed the California State Bar.[15]

Post-graduation employment[edit]

Based on a 2001–2007 6 year average, 90.6% of USD Law graduates were employed 9 months after graduation.[15]

Advocacy Programs[edit]

Appellate Moot Court[edit]

The law school's Appellate Moot Court team is composed of two boards, the Executive Board and the Associate Board.[16] The Appellate Moot Court Board hosts two intramural competitions each year, both open to second and third year USD Law students, the Alumni Moot Court Tournament and the Paul A. McLennon, Sr., Honors Moot Court Competition. The Moot Court Board also hosts the National Criminal Procedure Competition.[17]

National Trial Team (Mock Trial)[edit]

USD Law's National Trial Team trains students for regional and national trial competitions, competing in five major tournaments each year.[18]

Transactional Law Team (TLT)[edit]

The Transactional Law Team competes in the National Transactional Law Meet.[19]

Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (VICAM)[edit]

USD Law's Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (VICAM) team competes in the area of international commercial law and arbitration, also known as alternative dispute resolution.[20] Members of VICAM compete in the Willem C. Vis Moot in Vienna, Austria and the Vis East in Hong Kong.[21][21]

USD VICAM hosts the Michael Thorsnes International Commercial Arbitration Competition each year.[22] The competition serves as preparation for the Willem C. Vis Moot. It is an international competition, and in 2017 twenty-two teams from ten schools participated, including schools from Japan and Russia.[22]


According to the University of San Diego's official 2018 ABA-required disclosures, 67% of the Class of 2018 obtained full-time, long-term, JD required employment nine months after graduation.[23] The University of San Diego's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 24.6%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2018 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[24]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at the University of San Diego School of Law for the 2017-2018 academic year is $74,086.[25] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $270,135.[26]

Notable alumni[edit]

Student publications[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "U.S. News & World Report, "Best Law Schools: University of San Diego"". Retrieved April 14, 2011.
  2. ^ "ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". ABA website. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  3. ^ "Member Schools - Association of American Law Schools".
  4. ^ Weyenberg, Michelle (January 2011), "Best Law Schools for Public Interest", The National Jurist, San Diego, California: Cypress Magazines, 20 (4): 24–28
  5. ^ Smith, Anesha. "member chart".
  6. ^ "Introducing Stephen Ferruolo, USD School of Law's Incoming Dean".
  7. ^ a b "Ferruolo bio".
  8. ^ "Brian Leiter Appendix D: Summary Faculty Quality Rankings for the Top 25 Schools, 2003-04".
  9. ^ "Brian Leiter Top Law Schools by Specialty Area, 2002-03".
  10. ^
  11. ^ "USD Law faculty bio, Junichi Semitsu".
  12. ^ "USD Law faculty bio, Frank Partnoy". Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2011-06-02.
  13. ^ "Brian Leiter Student Quality, 2007".
  14. ^ "California Bar Results: July 2018" (PDF). Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  15. ^ a b "Internet Legal Research Group: University of San Diego, 2009 profile". Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  16. ^ "Moot Court Boards - USD Law Moot Court".
  17. ^ "Appellate Moot Court - School of Law - University of San Diego".
  18. ^ "National Trial Team - School of Law - University of San Diego".
  19. ^ "Transactional Law Team (TLT) School of Law - University of San Diego".
  20. ^ "Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot (VICAM) - School of Law - University of San Diego".
  21. ^ a b "About USD VICAM". USD VICAM.
  22. ^ a b "USD Pre-Moot". USD VICAM.
  23. ^ "Employment Statistics 2018" (PDF).
  24. ^ "University of San Diego Profile".
  25. ^ "Tuition and Expenses".
  26. ^ "USD SOL Summary".
  27. ^ "Executive Officers - Qualcomm Incorporated".
  28. ^ California, The State Bar of. "Attorney Search : The State Bar of California".
  29. ^ California, The State Bar of. "Attorney Search : The State Bar of California".
  30. ^ "Colony Inc. Company Executives".
  31. ^ "Mark Brnovich's Biography".
  32. ^ "CAMP, David Lee, (1953 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  33. ^ "Nomination of Joseph Ghougassian To Be United States Ambassador to Qatar".
  34. ^ [1]
  35. ^ DeArmond, Michelle, Kimberly Trone and Jose Arballo, Jr., "Timeline of Pacheco's political and legal career", The Press Enterprise, January 5, 2008. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  36. ^ "Supreme Court of Nevada "Justice Parraguirre Will Be New Chief Justice at Nevada Supreme Court" December 30, 2009".
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ San Diego Law Review, Journal Homepage (Accessed August 22, 2015)
  40. ^ San Diego International Law Journal, Journal Homepage (Accessed August 22, 2015)
  41. ^ San Diego Journal of Climate and Energy Law, Journal Homepage (Accessed August 22, 2015)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°46′19″N 117°11′16″W / 32.77194°N 117.18778°W / 32.77194; -117.18778